Low testosterone risk flagged for testicular cancer survivors
medwireNews: Clinicians should be aware of the risk of hypogonadism in men who have been treated for testicular cancer, highlight findings from The Platinum Study.
The results showing that 38% of 491 survivors had low testosterone or were using testosterone replacement therapy were reported at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Mohammad Issam Abu Zaid, from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, USA, told delegates that hypogonadism was more common in patients who were older, affecting 51.6% of those aged 50 years or older versus 29.7% of patients aged 18–39 years.
Overweight and obese patients were also more likely to have hypogonadism than those with a healthy weight (41.9 and 44.3 versus 25.6%), as were patients with one or at least two risk alleles in the SHBG gene versus none (36.1 and 41.2 vs 26.6%).
In addition, patients with low testosterone were more likely than those without to have high cholesterol (20 vs 6%), hypertension (19 vs 11%), erectile dysfunction (20 vs 12%), diabetes (6 vs 3%), and anxiety or depression (15 vs 10%).
Zaid explained that as hypogonadism is associated with risk factors for heart disease, patients should be encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, and healthcare providers should treat patients with hypogonadism.
Speaking at a press conference, Zaid told medwireNews that in an earlier study of patients with hypogonadism, testosterone replacement was able to “immediately mitigate a lot of these side effects”, such as improved patient mood and cholesterol levels.
However, he emphasized that the focus should be on screening patients for symptoms of hypogonadism rather than measuring patient hormone levels routinely, as the normal range for testosterone is wide.
By Lynda Williams
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